PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has thanked the government and people of Japan and Papua New Guinea (PNG) for financially assisting the roll out of the SIFF Academy project.
Mr Sogavare stated this when commissioning the ground breaking of the Pacific Games 2023- SIFF Football Academy on January 6th.
Prime Minister Sogavare paid gratitude to the Government and People of Papua New Guinea and the government and People of Japan for providing the funds to the National Hosting Authority to build the Football Academy.
“Your Excellencies, the High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea to Solomon Islands and the Representative of the Japanese Embassy to Solomon Islands, please convey my government’s sincere appreciation to your respective Prime Ministers and your governments for the tremendous support you have given to my country to support my government’s efforts to host the 2023 Pacific Games.”
The ceremony represents another step towards unifying our people and nation through sports.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I now have the honour to commission the ground-breaking of the PG2023 – SIFF Football Academy. Let the work begin,” remarked Prime Minister Hon. Sogavare.
He stated, the facility will cost about $73 million.
The Prime Minister explained, the Football Academy will comprise two FIFA compliant football pitches, a beach court, a futsal court, one 2 – storey administration building, and one 2-storey dormitory accommodation building together with associated services to ensure SIFF’s long-term legacy after the 2023 Pacific Games.
“Once completed it will be one of the best football academies in the Pacific Islands region.”
Prime Minister Sogavare also acknowledged the high level of cooperation the government and the National Hosting Authority had received from the Solomon Islands Football Federation.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock was also applauded for allowing the National Hosting Authority to access the site to develop the PG2023-SIFF Football Academy.
The facility will be built by a local joint venture construction company comprising of JED Enterprises and JQY on behalf of the National Hosting Authority for the 2023 Pacific Games and the ultimate ownership by Solomon Islands Football Federation.
“Allow me to congratulate JED Enterprises and JQY for successfully bidding for this major project. The selection of this company demonstrates the confidence of the National Hosting Authority in ability of this local company to deliver such a major project on time and on budget. The NHA is confident in JED enterprises and JQY’s ability to deliver the project.”
A critical component of the contractual obligation is to produce two football pitches that fully comply with FIFA’s international standards for football pitches.
The National Hosting Authority and JED/JQY have consulted with SIFF to ensure that the facility meets the FIFA standards.
“I have been informed that the two pitches would be completed and ready for handover by August to September this year, and the full project will be handed over by the first quarter of 2023,”said the Prime Minister.
The NHA will release the first payment to the consortium this week so that work on the academy progresses at a pace that will deliver the project no later than the first quarter of 2023.
Prime Minister Sogavare also call on all surrounding communities including Burn’s Creek to help protect and look after the facility.
On other PG2023 facility updates, a brand-new full-size, training football and rugby field with synthetic practice running tracks at King George Sixth will be handed over by 31st March 2022.
The Government also anticipate the handing over of the Futsal multi-purpose hall funded and constructed by the government of the Republic of Indonesia between April and May this year.